Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
07/31/14 at 18:53:59


Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print
Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speakers (Read 11469 times)
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speakers
07/17/06 at 03:14:29
 
Introduction of the Taboo with “Lucid” mode.


This evaluation project has really opened many doors to alternative means of diverse listening experiences. Now included within this range of diversity is that of the original Taboo model which was patterned after Steve’s final “production” circuit based upon the experimental design which led up to it.

As many of you may recall, this is the amp that toured the country with its initial introduction. Those of you that had the chance to evaluate this amplifier within your own systems have heard this design in its base form, WITHOUT the special lucid circuit which makes it so unique. Once the audition tour finalized, this amp returned to its maker for the revised upgrade to include the “LUCID” feature. The revised amp then made its final journey to Bob Z who became the owner of this special little amplifier.

I never had the chance to hear this amplifier during that period. Bob’s Taboo model was the first that I listened to and that just recently came about. The advantage that I have now with this amp, is that I get to compare not only the base circuit for which the auditioning circle experienced, but enhanced with the additional lucid circuit which is as simple as a flick of the switch for comparative analysis. Of course, all Taboo models are sold with this unique feature and anyone with an actual production model has this built in to their amp. Bob has generously lent me this amplifier as an alternative approach for which to evaluate the Decware speaker line-up. I will have this amplifier for an extended period until at which point my observations have been concluded.

After several years of dedication to the “purist” approach with Single Ended Triode class “A” amplifiers, I now have the fortunate opportunity to compare a bit of design diversity into the mix. This was something that I would have never taken interest  during the period for which the prototype Taboo was introduced. At that time, I was utterly convinced that my SET mono-blocks were the epitome of design perfection. There did not seem to be cause for any further inclusion of amplifier modifications or alternative designs. My level of satisfaction was at a point where I could not fathom the possibility of refined sound character and simply ignored any scope beyond this.

This is an example of how easy it is to become locked into a certain mindset. When one is convinced of certain contentment, why take alternative measures to explore what surely must be a futile search for that which is readily apparent? One will never know the possibilities which exist until alternative designs have been evaluated for the unique characteristics inherent within them. I now have three very distinct high quality platforms for which to measure the finer aspects associated by each design. Each class of amplifier has its own degree of complexities for which makes it special by comparison and all adhere to advanced performance guidelines for which the book has been rewritten in regards to amplifier design. Decware amplifiers have without doubt, pushed the advancement of tube audio design into a realm previously unexplored. Further advancement into this “thinking -outside-of-the-box” concept has proven substantially worthwhile as these are not just improvements to old “tried and true” designs of past. To the contrary, the design theory that evolved into these production circuits are that of absolute genius. Each design represents the diverse possibilities for which to push the envelope beyond the limitations of textbook tradition.

As stated before, I like so many others of my generation were heavily influenced by the influx of massive solid state amplification which governed our mindset in general. Valve amplification had been reduced to the annals of antiquated technology, doomed to the certainty of obsolescence. New technology is superior according to the masses, or at least that is what the marketing ploy would lead us to believe. One who does not know the difference is easy prey to such a grey area of manipulation.

Those of you that have never stepped outside the boundaries of current amplifier design technology, owe yourself the opportunity to experience that which is revealed by properly designed advancements within the world of tube amplification which started it all. Sure, it goes without saying that many past valve designs have lacked true precedence by today’s standards, but that is not indicative for this category in general to any degree of conformity. I for one have been fortunate to discover this and therefore see no path leading back to the current form of engineering principals. Been there, done that. This is the real thing! For those of you that have followed this path, you know exactly what the difference offers within this dimension, for those that choose to be enlightened by its promise.

My first introduction to anything tube related stemmed from an idea that I had regarding bi-amplification of speakers. As I had heard about the strengths of great tube amplification considered ideal for the purpose of driving the mid range and higher frequencies, I started my search for the appropriate amplifiers to perform that specific task. The idea was to use solid state amplification for driving the lower frequencies as this was considered an area which fell short with tube driven amps by comparison. (hardly the case)

This was what led me on my journey to new discoveries in the nature of audio truth. All  the years of marketing “brainwashing” were about to be stripped away to de-program my misled influence of what I perceived as “the way it should be“. The internet can truly be the highway to our understanding and it certainly provided me with the answers which brought me to this point in time.

It turns out that I was close to the proper concept but still not quite into focus as I still had ties with the belief that tube amps could not produce clean, accurate bass and this had to be delegated to high current solid state offerings. My philosophy was that shared qualities between the two elements in a bi-amp configuration would bring forth the ultimate combination of sound in theory.

In my search, I really did not find anything within an acceptable price range that I was willing to try out for this purpose. Eventually through the use of a search engine, I was led to an interesting site while on the search for d i. y. projects regarding tube amplifiers. I spent a great portion of that evening reading all the articles and content available on that site. What really caught my attention was a step by step process with clear assembly photographs for which an amp builder could build this affordable but obviously well executed amplifier design. This as you may have guessed was where you have landed now and this was my introduction to Steve Deckert and his great design philosophy.

I am generally very good about sensing something worthwhile and usually act upon my intuition if the purpose calls for it. The next day I called to investigate this company further with the usual assumption that I would be connected to some employee with limited knowledge to the designs in general. To my surprise, the Zen Master himself answered the phone and spent a great deal of time educating me as to what we know today.

Rather than try to sell me with his ideas or products, we merely discussed the goal that I was looking to achieve and he suggested a better solution. This would be at minimal cost and fully refundable if not up to my liking.  He knew exactly what was wrong with my situation and just how to make my system perform more to my needs. That is when I bought my first piece of tube based audio gear being that of the original ZSLA which at that time cost less than $300.00.  This of course replaced my existing solid state preamplifier and became a direct line stage for which to control my bridged SS mono-blocks, acting as a filtering “buffer” to smooth out the overall sound of the system.

Needless to say, that unit was never returned and I still have it today. This had performed something short of a miracle to the balance and control of my system and I knew right then and there what direction was in store for me. If that little control box could accomplish a measure of refinement to that degree, WHAT IF………….?





Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Re: Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speak
Reply #1 - 07/17/06 at 03:21:08
 
In the short term to follow, I made the decision to totally revamp my system and take the dedicated “purest” approach to an all exclusive tube based system with the exception of my digital source being that of an Arcam CD player. This was during the introduction of the ZTPRE and the new flagship SV83M-DC Mono-Blocks of which  without hesitation,  orders were placed. As I knew that my inefficient speakers would be the weak link to this new combinations finesse, these would have to be replaced with something in proper synergy to this system. I must have been one of the first to order the newly introduced RL-1 radial speakers which came about sometime later, as I remember ordering these after talking to Steve for advice and these were about to be placed online as a high efficiency speaker ideal for low powered S.E.T. amplifiers. What better place to order speakers from than the designer who made them specifically for this application. Common sense dictates the outcome and the price was very affordable so what did I have to lose? NOTHING! In fact, I gained everything that I was looking for and have never turned back since.

That system remained unchanged with the exception of the RL-2 upgrades and the eventual inclusion of my Teres analog source. This has kept me quite content up to the present. However, many changes have taken place in the Decware component line-up and I just could not help myself have a go at it again. Eventually the curiosity factor will set in and mine had hit its peak when I heard about the new TORII MK making its appearance. This type of amp is what initially started my search but as we all know, nothing like this existed until now and anything that even came close was priced prohibitively for the average consumer.

As something that I never anticipated, the big push-pull TORII MK2 has shown itself to be so advanced in design for which to surpass everything so well known for the S.E.T. designs, that I actually have retired the old Mono-blocks without ever missing them. That is a pretty hard act to follow but then again this new amp is truly a masterpiece of design ingenuity. It is truly the reference standard for which all others are gauged. If you find that hard to believe, experience it for yourself and draw your own conclusions. The outcome would not surprise me from what I know now.

This leads me up to my current evaluations with the original Taboo model.  I  shall lend some perspective as to how I perceive this little gem in contrast to the extremes of the S.E.T.s on one end of the spectrum to the TORII MK2 itself.


Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Re: Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speak
Reply #2 - 07/17/06 at 03:27:17
 
After my implementation of the new P-P design, I consider this to be the focal point for which to compare anything within its premise. When I discovered the opportunity to actually hear the Taboo within my system, I jumped at the chance and decided that this would become an excellent alternative to amplifier-speaker relations. This simply adds  another degree of flexibility in choice. There is no better way of discovering the hidden magic which may await the right combination of speakers to the available amplifier types. What may not work well for one combination could be the ultimate match-up for another.

At this point, I have mated the Taboo with the RL-3’s and have been listening to this combination for the past week with only some quick tube rolling to get a sense of which tube types work best for my application.

The Taboo is an example of how far that known design parameters can be stretched outside of the normal approach. Based upon a single 12AX7 driver tube, the circuit employs a dual configuration(one tube per channel) of output tubes based upon the EL84/SV83 types. Power supply rectification is controlled by that of  the 5Y3GT variety which can also be substituted for the 5U4 types providing an optional change in character to the resulting output stage. The amp was designed to work optimally with the 5Y3GT rectifier tube and I find this to be very complimentary to its overall sound. I have yet to swap in any of the high quality n.o.s. 5U4 types for lack of any desire to do so. I will eventually perform this swap for the basis of comparative testing but it has not taken place as of  this time.

I am currently operating the Taboo with an RCA 5Y3GT that is labeled “made in UK” with the QH designator printed on the glass. When compared side by side to an American version of the RCA 5Y3GT, these are completely different in design and size.



I suspect that these are the high quality versions manufactured by Mullard which I tend to believe may have come from the well renowned Blackburn facility. I have not verified this but that is my speculation. Regardless of its origin, this is one well built tube and has the sound quality to match. I have about a dozen n.o.s 5Y3GT tubes to choose from which are from just about every source of variety, but I started with the cream of the crop for my initial evaluation of this amplifier. Eventually, the others will need to be compared for any discernable differences between them.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 08/19/06 at 15:10:06 by RFZ_Quest »  
  IP Logged
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Re: Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speak
Reply #3 - 07/17/06 at 03:33:00
 
I began listening to this amp with a set of 6n15nM labeled Svetlana tubes which is of the SV83 variety. These have been cryogenically treated and are well broken in. These are what Bob had installed along with his Bugle Boy Amperex 12AU7 driver tube. Initially, I listened with this set of particular tubes for the first day just to get a feel for what they provide. Note that this is a 12AU7 as opposed to the 12AX7 version for which this amp was tailored to. The 12AU7 is permissible as an alternative substitute however this changes the character of the amp in its voltage swing and signature. The Amperex did have a very nice presentation to it but I wanted to set this amp up to its intended base configuration for accurate testing. What I changed aside from the UK made RCA rectifier, was the driver tube for an RCA 12AX7A with a top mounted halo getter. The output tubes have been changed to a fresh set of Russian Military  6n15n-EB’s labeled 1284 on the glass. These were extremely harsh during the initial hours of play but eventually began the transitional break-in and within a few hours became very listenable. Improvements have been substantial throughout the week as these tubes get a greater amount of playing time on them. At this stage, this set of tubes has been operated for at least 50 hours and it took just short of that to hear them as they should perform.

The source feeding the signals directly to the Taboo inputs are direct from the DEC685 tubed output stage and do not necessitate the need for any sort of pre-amplification buffering or gain control. The voltage provided from the source is more than abundant which allows the signal chain to be reduced to an absolute minimum for the benefit of untainted signal purity. Only a custom set of high purity solid silver interconnect leads which are fitted within outer cotton jackets and encased within a foundation of Beeswax are utilized for the transmission. These have full outer protection as a barrier to EMI/RFI interference and are terminated with Nuetrik ProFi connections which make ground before signal contact and vise-versa.  The tube on the DAC output stage is an RCA 12AU7 clear top which handles this duty exceptionally well.

As for the Taboo circuit feature which gives it the uniqueness it has come to be known by is of course the “Lucid” function which can be toggled in and out on the fly. Unlike any other Decware amplifier designs which are free from the degrading effects of negative feedback, this amp thrives on an induced mixture of precisely modified feedback to produce this very unique sound. In a nut shell, the end result of this completely revised form of global feedback makes possible, the ability for both channels to become actively engaged in unity as if conjoint twins shared thought patterns from a centrally localized brain. Sounds a bit like the “Borg” on Star Trek where combined unity strengthens the entity as a whole. This ability for the two channels to share activity in real time is the impending result known as the “Lucid” portion of the circuit hence its ability to provide accurate lucidity in its presentation as a whole.

That is a bit bizarre in description but somehow relative in theory. I promise that I have abstained from mind altering chemicals and none were used here to convey the message. However, one may feel as though they were influenced by mind altering chemical enhancement, once subjected to the addictive sound which emanates from this very special circuit design. This gives new meaning to the phrase “psychedelic music”. The only difference is that one is not imagining the floating sense of involvement into the music, as this effect is indeed real in its ability to produce stunning imagery within a mesmerizing sense of distinct clarity.

Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Re: Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speak
Reply #4 - 07/17/06 at 03:38:16
 
This amplifier design is like an experiment set in motion, resulting in a newly found discovery never anticipated or conceived with even remote possibility. This is what taking it to the threshold of possibility is all about and this one was stretched to the extreme  with spectacular results. I have been meaning to put my TORII MK2 back into the loop for the last two days. I just seem content to hear the magic prevalent within this miniature box of audio TNT.

The design of the Taboo is centered upon Pentode configuration wired in a single ended approach. This of course makes it an SEP design  which sets it apart from the surrounding stable of Triode counterpart designs. While the Pentode version uses the same output tubes as used by the Triode versions, the resulting performance curve is of a totally different nature. The Taboo would fall somewhere in between the performance stature of the SV83M Mono-Blocks and that of the new TORII MK2. This because it shares some of the most profound qualities known to each design class. Even though it has the ability to accurately convey the subtle detail so prevalent within the character of low powered S.E.T. amplifiers, it also has precisely controlled dynamics which breath effortlessly. It just seems impossible for this little amplifier to defy its hefty brother which shadows over it in an intimidating manner. Don’t let the size fool you, if you could not see this amp while playing, you would be fooled into the image of a much larger chassis with the thought of output tubes in the 6550, KT88 or 300B range. There is a phenomenal sense of speed associated within the complex nature of the Taboo and power is never an issue with  efficient speakers rated at or above 94dB. This amp produces low level information with a strong measure of tactile connection which almost compares to the TORII MK2 in a relatively scaled down way. Visually, it is difficult to compare these two amplifiers side-by-side and try to put this into perspective as to the sound levels produced by each design.

While I have yet to match the Taboo with the MG-944’s, the HDT’s with the new Decware modified DFR-8 single drivers and Alternate tuning package, the HDT MK2’s, the Nibbelin Ultraflex NFX speakers or the prototype dual fostex designs, I have listened to it extensively with the RL-3’s. I have had such a positive reaction with this combination that I believe further relative success will be achieved with all fore mentioned speaker types. If you are not in a position to obtain the high end flagship model TORII MK2, I would without reserve recommend the Taboo as a secondary alternative.

When gauged into a performance versus price range category, this amplifier will provide all the audio expectations that one would require with high efficiency speakers at an exceptional value. This guaranteed if mated to Decware designs in general. Speaker choice is a matter of personal preference and it is my objective to capture and convey the uniquely different characteristics for each type of design.

Further analysis of this ongoing evaluation will take place as time permits with further impressions about speaker changes and tube rolling to be the primary focus.

To be continued………

Paul



Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Pyewacket
Ex Member



Re: Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speak
Reply #5 - 07/18/06 at 14:04:35
 
Hello Paul!

Another great review.  After our long discussions regarding the MK II the review of the Taboo brings a question to mind.  Some in the past have stated that the Taboo can get a little stretched when pressed by itself compared to the MK II's extra punch.  If that is the case how does this amplifier pair with the WO32?

I'm still commited to getting the MK II but I just thought I'd throw this out for possible discussion.

Other than that, how've you been?  Haven't heard from you for a while around here.

Terry
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Re: Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speak
Reply #6 - 07/19/06 at 04:26:27
 
Hello again Terry,

I have been doing very well as there is never a dull moment with this major experiment. I just wish that I had more time to dedicate towards it.  My best time to perform these evaluations occurs over the weekends and they zip by at light speed as you know.  This is no easy task although an absolute pleasure to take part in. I have recently spent  several  weekends over the past couple of months commuting to Phoenix for which to visit Bob Z. in person. I am responsible for the care of this equipment for which I got to bring back with me during each trip. It has been  a true learning experience getting to know Bob on a  personal basis.  I have learned a great deal over the course of my visits and I can tell you that he is definitely the guy to build your next set of speakers! The things that I have witnessed in person about his development techniques and build process is nothing short of exemplary to say the least. What can I tell you about the speakers that come to be in his shop.  I do know that they are built to the highest standards and are optimally voiced as perfect cohabitants for Decware amplifiers.  If you only knew how much time and effort goes into a set of  speakers built by him, with exacting care and attention to detail, you would have to ask why he produces them at such  an affordable price. I have done some enclosure building myself and I can tell you that for the difference in overall cost, let alone the amount of labor which goes into such a thing, that these Decware designs are much more of an incredible bargain than what I had imagined. I for one will testify that these speakers should respectively so be sold at a much higher profit margin.  Materials used in the  build  process are second to none and are optimally chosen for very specific reasons as determined by exhaustive voicing  within real world listening conditions.  These cabinets are rock solid and have the weight factor to prove it.

Of course the sound is what matters in the end and there are definitely no shortfalls to be found! There are specific reasons for determining the choice of cabinet materials used in speaker design. The differences between MDF or Baltic Birch support a profound  basis for which “make or break” the resulting sound,  due to the tuning of the cabinets in respect to their natural resonate qualities. The steps that evolve into the  corresponding  driver-cabinet relationship are quite revolutionary and are proven techniques placed into motion from Steve and Bob’s intensive efforts. Believe me, these speaker designs are pushed beyond the limits of  imagination  for which the resulting performance reflects this to the extreme.

I have not tried combining the WO32 into the loop as of yet with the Taboo, but this would be interesting  to hear just what the outcome may provide. I will eventually try this and  report on my findings.


When comparing the Taboo to the TORII MK2, it is a bit like comparing David to Goliath although David does not defeat Goliath in this match but a great fight pursues with some interesting observations crediting the might of the underdog. There is a great deal of advantage for the TORII MK2 by nature of design so it becomes a major conquest for something such as the Taboo to even begin sizing up to its standards. With that  as a given, we know that these two amplifiers could never compete in a head to head  contest as this would be an unfair match-up. This would be like trying to pair up a race between a standard Ferrari and  one that has been  modified to the extreme for professional racing. While that factory version is of highly desirable status with world class performance as reflected by its badge of honor, its performance could never hold enough promise to compete in the same league as its  racing counterpart.

This is why I referred to the Taboo’s strengths as (relatively) close to that of the TORII MK2 but in a “scaled down manner” as to how something would be concluded in a pound for pound proportional measure.  There is quite a bit of difference in the power curves between these designs and rightfully so considering  the magnitude of the TORII MK2’s circuit and features.  The Taboo was not intended to have  benchmark power stature where as the big Push-Pull amp excels with that being a major aspect of its  focus.  Even so, with a respectable six quality watts of single ended pentode power per channel, the Taboo is no weakling! This amp comes off sounding much more powerful than one would expect, while maintaining absolute control and finesse over the musical passages, with a level of presence that is unquestionably fulfilling when matched to high efficiency speakers.

Where the Taboo excels in the highest regard lies in its innate ability to flush out the tiniest of detail within the musical passages which in many amplifiers would go unnoticed in an obscured manner at best. Not only does this present itself within its self proclaimed “lucid” manner but does it to a degree where this becomes one of its greatest attributes in a very coherent manner. There never seems to be stress within the function of this amplifiers ability to produce desirable levels of sound and does so with a total sense of control.

One cannot expect a single output tube in the  EL84 class to compete with a pair of KT88’s or EL34’s especially when the circuit is based upon  a single ended approach versus that of the push-pull design class. However, what may amaze you is that this single output tube per channel circuit can produce unfaltering  presence to a degree which  gives the  heftier tube designs a run for the end result in general. As opposed to the triode configurations, what contributes to this ability within the Taboo would be the direct influence stemming from the fact that it is wired to operate in pentode operation.  The EL84 tube may be small by comparison, but the sound is huge when wired in this manner. This was one of my observations about these two amplifiers as visually, the TORII MK2 absolutely dwarfs the original Taboo in stature. The actual power and perceptiveness provides a higher degree of balance when that factor is substituted  for sizing these two up.  As stated before, if you could not see the Taboo in action, your estimation of physical  size would  elude to something  much more stout within its chassis.

If you want it all without any degree of compromise, get the TORII MK2.  For the next best thing  in reduced scale, the Taboo definitely makes the cut  if you have the appropriate speakers ideally matched to its performance level.

To summarize in general, the Taboo holds its own and does so extraordinarily for its design class. The  Taboo’s presentation  lives up to its name with clarity, detail, focus and  great balance.  While the lower extension or overall tactile force will not compare in strength to that of the KT88 driven TORII MK2, it is very substantial for its class and is quite satisfying in general . For the price range that it is offered, it is an exceptional bargain and one that  has  a wide margin of return upon its investment.  

For any further questions,  feel free to ask.

More on this to come.

Paul


Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
selmerdave
Ex Member



Re: Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speak
Reply #7 - 07/19/06 at 14:24:13
 
Paul,

It seems that the major difference between the two that you are reporting is the power.  Could you comment in the difference between the two at, say, 80db listening level?  Thanks.

Dave
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Re: Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speak
Reply #8 - 07/20/06 at 00:34:47
 
Dave,

Sure, that would be easy enough to do. I can monitor the independent strengths as well as the overall averages for each frequency in SPL with my handheld audio analyzer in either A, C, or flat weighted response. I will push the Taboo to its extended limit without being overdriven as a baseline reference and perform some checks at various range levels below that. Then the TORII MK2 will be analyzed to match the same levels obtained with the Taboo so that we have the same degree of baseline SPL. This will show what point that the larger amp is being driven to for which to match the optimal output of the Taboo's strength. At this point, the two amps can be A-B'd with the same program material for which to compare notes between them. 80dB is a good average to do this and the comparison will be done at this level as well. That should be well within the Taboo's ability and far below the ability of the TORII MK2.

Give me enough time to perform this test and the data will be documented as to my observations in a few days. (maybe sooner depending on how soon that I complete this.)

Terry brought up the suggestion of bringing the WO32 into the loop as an additional test of compatibility for the Taboo. This will also take part in separate listening tests so those impressions can be noted as well. For the direct comparison as stated above, the subwoofer will not be used so that only the mains will be analyzed in the reference check.

Will be back with this data soon.

Paul
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
selmerdave
Ex Member



Re: Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speak
Reply #9 - 07/20/06 at 01:20:41
 
[quote author=RFZ_Quest  link=1153106069/0#8 date=1153352087]I will push the Taboo to its extended limit without being overdriven as a baseline reference and perform some checks at various range levels below that. Then the TORII MK2 will be analyzed to match the same levels obtained with the Taboo so that we have the same degree of baseline SPL. [/quote]

Thanks Paul,

Actually I was thinking of having both amps well within their power capabilities, which 80db ought to be (and then some).  Peaks shouldn't be above 90db.  I'm not sure if that's what you were describing in the second half of the post, I got a little confused.  I'm just interested in what the differences are aside from the power and how the Torii II sounds and compares with the Taboo at low volumes.

Dave
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
DaveCan
Ex Member



Re: Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speak
Reply #10 - 07/22/06 at 16:12:25
 
Great reviews Paul, I put in my order for the Taboo end of June and can't wait to get it in my system. Any new info like what Dave just asked?  I built some horns for my fe108's and they sound really good but when the Taboo gets in the mix I'm sure they will be amazing Grin.   Dave Smiley
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Re: Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speak
Reply #11 - 07/22/06 at 23:44:44
 
Hello Dave (Can),

Thanks for the input!  Glad to hear that you have the Taboo coming. I promise you that this is an unregretable choice and one that will serve as a superb platform. This should sound interesting with the horn based Fostex speakers as I am sure that the dynamics and detail are going to be ideal for this amplifier. You will undoubtedly hear into the music unlike anything that you have experienced before as this little amp really exposes the music for all its worth.

Yes, you will have further impressions from my point of view as I will be performing my Taboo vs. TORII MK2 listening tests this weekend starting this evening with all probability ending sometime tomorrow evening. I will need the appropriate time to gather my thoughts based upon my impressions and data collected from my Real Time Analyzer.

As to what may lend itself a bit closer to your behalf, I not only am going to compare notes with the RL-3's, but also with the MG-944  MTM Towers AND as a special bonus, a prototype set of dual modified Fostex *(only) drivers within a cabinet designed for transmission line loading. These will compare heavily to your application and should give you a very good representation as to what you will be hearing. While not quite the same, these designs both use the Fostex drivers, therefore the final sound should be relative. I for one like the extension of the modified Fostex drivers so well that I do not want any inclusion of further high frequency enhancement. I just do not feel the need for it with what I have heard,  as these are very pronounced in solo form. In a well designed cabinet with transmission line bass loading, they sound very open and non restricted in the mid range with qualities similar to that of full range ribbon drivers set into a open baffle design. A very unique sound quality which  nothing else that comes to mind compares to its signature. The drivers are wired direct from the amplifier with NO crossover network what-so-ever to hamper the signal. All crossover duties are handled naturally by means of mechanical dampening techniques which perform the same task without any compromise to the musical waveform. This solution brings unsurpassed clarity to the presentation with  amazing realism.

I will express my impressions  of this analysis based upon the  Taboo driven  Fostex  designs so that hopefully, you can relate to what I have experienced and notes can be compared.

As I write this, the Taboo is warming up along with the RL-3’s which will start the process. Now I am off to begin this stage of the evaluation. A full report on this shall be posted soon.  Remember, these tests will have to be repeated for three sets of speakers not only with the Taboo, but with the TORII MK2 as well. This will give you an estimate of the time involved with this and I tend to  get involved within extended listening sessions. At times, one can get so wrapped up into the  sound presentation that things can easily be put on hold. I will try to avoid this but I can’t make any promises.  Now, let’s see what we can accomplish……..


Paul.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
DaveCan
Ex Member



Re: Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speak
Reply #12 - 07/23/06 at 06:21:39
 
Thanks Paul, I look forward to reading the rest of your impressions.   Dave Smiley
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Re: Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speak
Reply #13 - 08/10/06 at 02:50:14
 
Comparative test data…….Equipment rated; TORII MK2...TABOO…SV83M-DC Mono-blocks…RL3’s…MG944’s……..results are in!


Head to Head comparisons in real time data compiled with frequency analyzer

Parameters are baseline for all test data.

Listening environment set up as follows:
Room dimensions= 19’L by 12’W by 8’D
Speakers set up parallel with longest parameter of room.
Speaker positioning as follows: 32” from side walls set 6’ aft of front wall. Distance between driver centers is 6’ 6”. Speakers towed inward toward listening position for an intersecting point of 9’ (* intersects 2’ behind listening position). This places the prime listening position within an equilateral central location with sound rays encasing the prime listening spot with properly timed alignment. The audio analyzer microphone is placed accordingly within this area exactly where the listener is positioned.

Liberal implementation of acoustical treatment has been placed within the room to tame and balance the rooms response time. A solid area of prime 13 diffusers measuring 6’w by 7’ d is centered along the left side wall adjacent to the left speakers reflection points. The opposing right wall is widely covered by a combination of diffusion and absorption methods providing a highly effective means for controlling reflections from the right speaker area. The back wall behind the listeners position is heavily treated with absorption factoring in at a full 1.0 coefficient from above 250Hz to beyond 20kHz. Any frequency above 250 cycles is stopped dead in its tracks and absorbed rather than reflected back toward the listener. Forward of the speaker position is semi-live with moderate measures taken to reduce reflections. Full bass traps are placed within the front room corners which run floor to ceiling.

Room analyzed with RT60 pink noise generator:*flat weighted response set at 35 milliseconds with a minimum of 30dB correlation between baseline and test signal. Response time equals 0.31 seconds @ 51dB decay rate at prime listening position.



The point of this accumulative test data is to provide a measurable response from the amplifier/speaker combination in question. All testing parameters have been standardized for uniformity and accuracy. The following test data pertains to this listening environment and is not indicative for results outside of its relevancy.

You may experience better or worse results within your actual environment. In any case, the facts are in and they indeed reflect the condition of my acoustical boundaries  in current form. As you will notice, this room is still in need of fine tuning and the data clearly shows areas of concern where attention needs to be focused upon. Further improvements are mandatory for better balance within the room. This of course would directly impact the quality of perceived sound and would correspond with a drastic change in the following test data accordingly. For now, the acoustical parameters are above average and within tolerable range for which to form an acceptable basis for evaluation. The future foresees much progression in this area with far superior results pending.


On with the results….


I have compiled data from each segment of the testing phase and placed the corresponding figures in a side by side perspective with dual categories signifying the differences in SPL between flat and A weighted response. These volume settings are set very low with the TORIIMK2 barely taxed off idle to keep within these limits. These results are as measured directly from the listening position which is approximately seven feet equilateral from the speaker drivers. These figures represent the actual frequency response attained at my listening position and should give you a good idea as to the perceived loudness for each frequency. The test data derived by the RTA is sampled in 1/3 octave divisions and each SPL figure represents the maximum peak hold obtained for the entire test cycle.

The tests are evenly divided into direct and separate categories. Each speaker and amplifier combination is tested in both Flat weighted response and A weighted response with the volume adjusted for each test to reach a maximum peak range of 80dB so that all tests are uniform as possible. For the majority of the musical passage, the average SPL is around 70dB with 80dB +/- 1dB as an absolute peak limit. I used the same musical passage for all tests to keep it as accurate as possible. The particular music used was chosen for its consistent intensity throughout the spectrum with a very strong low frequency response. From Peter Gabriel’s SO album, I used the entire song “Sledgehammer” for all comparative data. This source is DSD mastered onto SACD format.


Category 1

Taboo (S.E.P. design), TORIIMK2 (push-pull design) & SV83M-DC (S.E.T. design) amplifiers with RL-3 speakers.
*(speaker capacitors are Jensen foil-in-oil type rated @ 1.5 uf)
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
RFZ_Quest
Ex Member



Re: Taboo "Lucid" mode and Decware Speak
Reply #14 - 08/10/06 at 03:29:12
 
Test # 1
Taboo & RL-3’s (sensitivity = 94 dB 1w 1m 4 ohms)
*line signals direct from source, NO preamp
Tube complement = Mullard 5Y3GT rectifier, Russian Military 6n15n-EB output tubes, RCA 12AX7A driver tube .
Range set for 30 to 90 dB with response time @ 35 milliseconds.  
( volume control set at the 10:30 position )


*Max PEAK SPL = 80.9 dB          *Max PEAK SPL = 80.1 dB
 FLAT weighted.                                 A   weighted.

20 Hz =     58.8 dB               20 Hz =      39.6 dB
25 Hz =     64.0 dB               25 Hz =      43.7 dB
31.5 Hz =  63.3 dB               31.5 Hz =      34.6 dB
40 Hz =  59.6 dB                  40 Hz =*under 30 dB
50 Hz =     63.8 dB               50 Hz =   35.4 dB
63 Hz =     75.4 dB               63 Hz =  50.7 dB
80 Hz =     75.8 dB               80 Hz =   54.7 dB
100 Hz =    62.1 dB             100 Hz =   43.0 dB
125 Hz =    59.5 dB             125 Hz =   44.0 dB
160 Hz =    64.3 dB             160 Hz =   52.7 dB
200 Hz =    60.0 dB             200 Hz =   50.9 dB
250 Hz =    70.9 dB             250 Hz =   64.1 dB
315 Hz =    71.1 dB             315 Hz =   66.3 dB
400 Hz =    80.5 dB             400 Hz =   76.7 dB
500 Hz =    76.3 dB             500 Hz =   74.3 dB
630 Hz =    78.6 dB             630 Hz =   78.4 dB
800 Hz =    74.8 dB              800 Hz =   75.9 dB
1 kHz =      76.2 dB             1 kHz =     78.8 dB
2 kHz 5 Hz = 66.4 dB          2 kHz 5 Hz = 68.5 dB
3 kHz 15 Hz = 64.7 dB         3 kHz 15 Hz = 66.7 dB
4 kHz =      65.9 dB            4 kHz =   69.0 dB
5 kHz =         63.1 dB         5 kHz =   64.8 dB
6 kHz 3 Hz =   67.1 dB        6 kHz 3 Hz = 67.6 dB
8 kHz =          61.8 dB        8 kHz =    62.9 dB
10 kHz =        60.1 dB        10 kHz =    58.0 dB
12 kHz 5 Hz = 62.4 dB        12 kHz 5 Hz = 43.8 dB
16 kHz =      59.8 dB          16 kHz =  36.5 dB
20 kHz =    49.1 dB            20 kHz = *under 30 dB
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print